"A healthy meeting will offer children spiritual language and a spiritual home. Children are windows of the divine and will teach older Friends in a community that includes them." --Fostering Vital Friends Meetings
Ottawa Monthly Meeting has an active children's program ("First Day School") on Sunday mornings. Our program varies both by season (we're less formal in the summer) and by the composition of the children attending. Currently we have programmed activities on the first three Sundays of the month, with childcare by an experienced childcare provider and a helper on the fourth and fifth Sundays of the month.
- Nursery: We currently have several babies and toddlers attending, and care is provided in the nursery. Parents are welcome to stay with their children.
- Preschool to about age eight: This group is listening to and reflecting on stories that teach Quaker values following the general principles of Faith and Play. Because this group is currently attended by some children who speak more French than English, lessons are conducted bilingually when possible.
- About age nine and up: The activities of this group vary depending on the leader. Many recent classes have focused on the stories told in the Book of Luke. This class is also currently being conducted bilingually when possible.
- Older teens and young adults: Although we've had older teen and young adult programs in the past, we currently don't have enough regular attenders to make this work. Many Canadian teen Young Friends (YFs) and Young Adult Friends (YAFs) look forward to connecting with other Quaker YFs and YAFs at national gatherings. The summer Canadian Yearly Meeting gathering is one favourite gathering spot. Camp Neekaunis is another. YFs and YAFs keep in touch electronically as well.